William Shakespeare: Antony and Cleopatra, Act IV, Scene XV
Enter Cleopatra and her maids aloft, with Charmian and Iras
No, I will not: All strange and terrible events are welcome, But comforts we despise; our size of sorrow, Proportion'd to our cause, must be as great As that which makes it.
Enter, below, Diomedes
How now! is he dead?
His death's upon him, but not dead. Look out o' the other side your monument; His guard have brought him thither.
Enter, below, Mark Antony, borne by the Guard
O sun, Burn the great sphere thou movest in, darkling stand The varying shore o' the world. O Antony, Antony, Antony! Help, Charmian, help, Iras, help; Help, friends below; let's draw him hither.
Peace! Not Caesar's valour hath o'erthrown Antony, But Antony's hath triumph'd on itself.
I am dying, Egypt, dying; only I here importune death awhile, until Of many thousand kisses the poor last I lay up thy lips.
I dare not, dear,— Dear my lord, pardon,—I dare not, Lest I be taken: not the imperious show Of the full-fortuned Caesar ever shall Be brooch'd with me; if knife, drugs, serpents have Edge, sting, or operation, I am safe: Your wife Octavia, with her modest eyes And still conclusion, shall acquire no honour Demuring upon me. But come, come, Antony,— Help me, my women,—we must draw thee up: Assist, good friends.
Here's sport indeed! How heavy weighs my lord! Our strength is all gone into heaviness, That makes the weight: had I great Juno's power, The strong-wing'd Mercury should fetch thee up, And set thee by Jove's side. Yet come a little,— Wishes were ever fools,—O, come, come, come;
They heave Mark Antony aloft to Cleopatra
And welcome, welcome! die where thou hast lived: Quicken with kissing: had my lips that power, Thus would I wear them out.
No, let me speak; and let me rail so high, That the false housewife Fortune break her wheel, Provoked by my offence.
The miserable change now at my end Lament nor sorrow at; but please your thoughts In feeding them with those my former fortunes Wherein I lived, the greatest prince o' the world, The noblest; and do now not basely die, Not cowardly put off my helmet to My countryman,—a Roman by a Roman Valiantly vanquish'd. Now my spirit is going; I can no more.
Noblest of men, woo't die? Hast thou no care of me? shall I abide In this dull world, which in thy absence is No better than a sty? O, see, my women,
Mark Antony dies
The crown o' the earth doth melt. My lord! O, wither'd is the garland of the war, The soldier's pole is fall'n: young boys and girls Are level now with men; the odds is gone, And there is nothing left remarkable Beneath the visiting moon.
No more, but e'en a woman, and commanded By such poor passion as the maid that milks And does the meanest chares. It were for me To throw my sceptre at the injurious gods; To tell them that this world did equal theirs Till they had stol'n our jewel. All's but naught; Patience is scottish, and impatience does Become a dog that's mad: then is it sin To rush into the secret house of death, Ere death dare come to us? How do you, women? What, what! good cheer! Why, how now, Charmian! My noble girls! Ah, women, women, look, Our lamp is spent, it's out! Good sirs, take heart: We'll bury him; and then, what's brave, what's noble, Let's do it after the high Roman fashion, And make death proud to take us. Come, away: This case of that huge spirit now is cold: Ah, women, women! come; we have no friend But resolution, and the briefest end.
Exeunt; those above bearing off Mark Antony's body